January 06, 2022
By Josh Honeycutt
Cort Travis received hunting permission on a new property in Oklahoma at the beginning of the deer season, and in late September captured a trail camera photo of a huge whitetail cruising the grounds.
From that point forward, he dedicated his season to that deer. He knew the buck wouldn’t be a pushover and spent considerable time poring over strategies and game plans. Eventually, he settled on an approach and put it into motion
Oct. 29 brought a cold front to the area, and temperatures were diving into the low 40s. The wind was low to moderate, reaching about 5 mph. Travis carefully picked his way along the landscape, hoping not to bump any deer along his entry route.
Eventually, he reached his hunting spot and settled in along the edge of a grassy, overgrown pasture field on a creek line. In front of him was open field, and to his left, right and rear was timber. It wasn’t long before he spotted a doe. Then, out of nowhere, the giant buck appeared.
Huge Oklahoma Muzzleloader Buck
- Hunter: Cort Travis
- Date: Oct. 29, 2021
- Location: Payne County, Oklahoma
- Method: Muzzleloader
- Score: 213 inches (gross)
"The doe ran over to him," Travis recently told G&F. "He walked 10 yards down the tree line right out in front of me, but I couldn't get a shot because of the tall grass. He ended up winding me, ran 10 yards and stopped right in an opening where I was able to take the shot."
Travis settled in, focused on the buck’s shoulder, took a couple deep breaths and made the 100-yard shot. The buck ran about 50 yards, went into the timber, then came back out into the field where Travis had shot him. However, Travis didn’t see him reemerge due to the thick cover.
READ MORE: Top 10 Big Bucks Stories from 2021 Season
His father and good friend drove out to help him recover the deer, but it wasn’t an easy track. Travis said they were skeptical about retrieving the deer after he lost the blood trail, but eventually he walked right up on the buck lying dead in the field.
"That it is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity," Travis said. "I feel extremely blessed to have gotten the chance to get a buck like this. No one could believe that I shot a deer that big. Everyone was super excited and happy for me because everyone knew how much this deer meant to me. I have been hunting my whole life and never imagined I would get the opportunity to get a buck like this. I put a lot of time and effort into getting him, so it's amazing to see hard work pay off."